I love books!
I have to admit, when I first considered listening to this story I was intimidated by the 40+ hours length. But my wife started reading it and told me what a great book it was so I got my mind right and dove in. I'm like many of the other reviewers, I was sorry to have it come to an end. My ancestors were from England and came to America around the Revolutionary War. So the historical perspective of the book was my family's history. My ancestor was probably one of the hungry ones runnning around the forest!
I read this book when it was first published back in the late 80's and have ALWAYS described it as "ONE OF THE FIVE BEST BOOKS" I have ever read in all my life! I am not a fan of espionage writers and I had categorized Follett in that category until reading "Pillars." What a shock! To say that this book is about the building of a cathedral is analagous to saying Stephen King has written a "couple of books." Follett has woven and threaded a story that takes place in the 1100's, including details of spirituality, architecture, politics (Thomas Becket and Henry VIII), caste systems as though he lived during those times. Very seldom do writers wander so far afield from their "comfort zones" of mystery or thrillers or romance but Follett completely deserted his "comfort zone" and did so with a genius. Believing that I would NEVER be able to listen straight through 5 parts I was wrong! Some days I couldn't wait to get back into my car for my one hour ride home from work! Or how about jumping out of bed in the morning and racing through my morning routine in order to begin listening again!
Fantastic character development, and even though the story is long, there are no lulls. This is an easy story to get caught up in. He does get very graphic and detailed in developing the character of the villan and his evil, twisted aggression towards women. You do wish you could fast forward through these sections. The whole story moves along quickly, but is easy to follow.
This is an excellent book that any lover of historical fiction would enjoy. It does have a couple of steamy scenes (I am no prude, but I felt they were a bit distracting from the story), so if you are offended by these sorts of things, you've been warned. Overall, well written and interesting. It is long, and does get a little repetitive in a way, but overall a truly enjoyable listen and well-read.
I had never listened to a book before and what a delight. I am an avid reader but was looking for a way to enjoy a book while commuting to and from work or while waliking.What a great introduction to the world of audible books! I didn't want to limit myself to the time I had to listen. It was a real page turner and I can't wait to listen to "World Without End."
An avid reader since childhood, I often find it difficult to be as engaged by an audiobook as by a regular one. No so with Pillars of the Earth. The story is wonderful, the narration brilliant. As many others have said here, I find myself thinking of the characters and the plot frequently throughout the day. I look forward to my daily commute so I can listen and find out what happens next!
I can't wait, everyday, to have a chance to listen to this book. The characters are fully filled out and you feel like you know them. I felt that this book gave me some prospective into medieval life and the influences of the church. Very engaging.
I was completely taken in by this book. As long as it is, I'm still a little sad that it's over. The way Follett weaves the characters together is outstanding. Although William Hamleigh and Waleran Bigod become somewhat cartoonish towards the end, that's a very minor problem overall.
Having been to Canterbury Cathedral and seen the spot where Thomas Becket was assassinated, the dramatization of that event is especially moving.
I just finished listening to Pillars this last weekend and am sad it’s over. Follett’s characters, story development, cathedral building descriptions, and intertwining of memorable and loving characters with those I grew to hate kept me enthralled. John Lee, the amazing narrator, brings all the characters to life with believable moods and emotions and describes beautifully how the 12th century may have felt to live in. I can close my eyes and imagine what it must have been like to be in England during that era. I’m sad I’m finished and can’t wait to listen to World Without End.
Usually I enjoy good historical fiction, almost as much as I like well written non-fiction. This book seemed to me more of a very lengthy romance novel, meant for unsophisticated readers. It did provide cultural information on life in the 12th century, but the writing was not inspired and there seemed to be little depth. So many times the author repeated scenes from earlier in the story in the form of characters thinking about their pasts-as if the reader were not smart enough to make the connections. I was extremely disappointed and would not recommend this book, even though the narrator did a great job with the somewhat boring material. What was Oprah thinking?